Expats Payment: Parliament must investigate $100k expats saga – Vitus Azeem

Anti-corruption campaigner Vitus Azeem has called on Parliament to form an independent committee to look into the monies charged by the Ministry of Trade and Industry before some expats were allowed to sit beside the president at a recent awards event held in Accra.

Speaking on Accra-based Starr FM, Azeem said this does not speak well of the government.

“It is unfortunate that the government is using our President to raise funds for a Private business,” adding that “it should be avoided in the future.”

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“Parliament can ask for the money to be accounted for and they can decide what the money should be used for…I will find it difficult to say this is a classic case of corruption without knowing the details. It is, however, a potential case of corruption,” the former Executive Director for the Ghana Integrity Initiative added.

His comments follow reports that foreign business owners were charged as much as $100,000 to sit close to the president at the Ghana Expatriate Business Awards (GEBA).

The claim was first made by NDC MP for Asawase Muntaka Mubarak in Parliament. The Trade Ministry has, however, explained it was not responsible for the supposed charges that expatriate businesses paid.

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According to the ministry, “the GEBA was the brainchild of the Millennium Excellence Foundation, an entity noted for its prowess and credibility in the organisation of world-class events such as the Millennium Excellence Awards and the Accra Marathon."

The claims have also caused near fisticuffs in Parliament on Tuesday (December 19, 2018) between former deputy Education minister Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa and deputy minister for Trade Carlos Ahenkora, who signed the controversial document.